Medical Interpreter Duties And Responsibilities – 2023 Guide

Are you planning to become a medical interpreter? Then you must know the medical Interpreter’s duties. 


Read out the article to become enlightened.

Medical Interpreter Duties And Responsibilities:

Medical interpreters work for different medical services, like physician offices, nursing homes, and mental health clinics. In contrast, a medical interpreter’s day-to-day duties are fixed by where they work. There’re many core tasks associated with the role. Included:

1. Accurate Translation Of Medical Information: 

– Patients and doctors who do not share the same language hire an interpreter to avoid any inconvenience. Misinformation can lead to severe consequences.

Accurate Translation Of Medical Information

– Medical interpreters provide language services. They convert information into a second language.

– Medical interpreters are specifically responsible for converting doctors’ advice and diagnose.

– Moreover, some medical interpreters translate the instruction on the use of medical equipment.

– Thus, Medical Interpreter must not paraphrase or summarize any word.

2. Medical Interpreter Duties- Medical Terminologies:

Medical language is difficult. Not everyone can understand it. So, medical Interpreters must be proficient with complicated medical terminology and concepts.

– They’re responsible for conveying complex information into simple wordings.

– Medical terminology allows the Interpreter to communicate effectively.

– An Interpreter can help the patient to understand what those terms mean.

– Also, Medical interpreters must be able to understand abbreviations to provide the best care.

– Then, knowing medical terminology can assist you in avoiding making billing coding or errors.

3. Confidentiality Is One Of the Core Duties:

– Clinical issues are personal aspects of a person’s life. So, confidentiality is the core duty of a Medical Interpreter.

– Hence, Medical Interpreters uphold patient confidentiality.

– Professional interpreters never reveal any information about the patient. Including, Medical History, Rehabilitation Records, or Text Messages.

Confidentiality Is One Of the Core Duties

– Medical Interpreters are also not allowed to contact patients. It is considered a violation of policy.

– Therefore, Medical interpreters have limited access to patient’s personal health information (PHI).

– Respecting patient’s privacy helps to create a trusting environment. Also, it increases the patient’s willingness to seek care.

4. Create Positive Interactions:

– A Medical Interpreter is like a communication bridge.

– Medical Interpreter recognizes the risk of clinical and communication errors.

– He strives to facilitate positive and comfortable communication with the patient. So the patient doesn’t hesitate to discuss his medical conditions.

– An Interpreter must not distort the speaker’s message.

– Medical Interpreter ensures a mutual understanding between doctor and patient. 

– Furthermore, he tries to avoid cultural misunderstandings.

5. Medical Interpreter Duties – Get Continued Training:

– Firstly, every Interpreter should take part in continued Training. To renew or keep their license.

– It helps interpreters to understand their roles and responsibilities.

– Next; Well-trained medical Interpreters can reduce errors in communication. And meet all legal requirements.

– Training includes an assessment of terminology—also language, and interpretation process.

– Trained interpreters know how to stay calm under pressure. 

Medical Interpreter Duties - Get Continued Training

– Finally, Specializing in medical terminology enhances career opportunities for medical interpreters. 

Medical Interpreter Job Description:

The medical interpreter job description comprises of following duties and tasks:

– Conduct medical Interpretation. To staff, patients, and their families.

– Assess patients and track them. To ensure they understand the information.

– Relay information of patient’s cultural issues to professionals.

– Observe and receive information from all relevant sources.

– Audit, Compile, calculate, code, or verify information or data.

– Moreover; Design policies and procedures for interpretation services.

– Handle daily records on service requests.

– Also; Inform supervisor of patient concerns.

– Then, engage in education programs and competency training for improving International Medical escort roles.

– Finally, ensure confidentiality of patient care and visitors of non-English speaking patients.

Skills Required For Successful Interpretation:

Here are the required skills for successful Interpretation.

1. Language fluency

Language interpretation needs a specific set of skills, including bilingual fluency. And the ability to switch fluently between two languages while interpreting. 

Language maintenance and acquisition is a continual process. 

Without a qualified professional interpreter, there’s a high risk of error when communicating with patients.

2. Ethical conduct

The code of ethics relies on three core values: Fidelity, goodwill, and respect for cultural differences.

Ethical conduct Skill Is Required For Successful Interpretation

Medical Interpreter’s primary goal is the well-being of the patient. He stays faithful and loyal when rendering the messages into another language. 

IMIA Code of Ethics for Medical Interpreters-

3. Cross-cultural communication

Of course, cultural understanding affects our communication style. Cross-culture is how people of different cultures communicate with each other.

However, cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings.  So, an Interpreter needs to know the culture of the target and source language. Also, he must understand the socio-cultural context of the patient they serve. 

As an interpreter, your career relay on how you keep cultural references.

4. Real-time interpreting skill

There are their modes of Interpretation. Simultaneous Interpretation, Consecutive, and Sight Interpretation as well. 

Medical Interpretation is more likely used to consecutive or real-time Interpretation. And a professional interpreter acts smartly. He prepares all assignments on time in the same way.

The Interpreter is interpreting as the patient’s talk. They often use interpreting devices to be more accurate. Note-taking is generally an essential part of consecutive interpreting.

It looks like this:

Person A: Speaks from 1-5 minutes to express an idea or thought.

Interpreter: Will capture key points. Then interprets the information from the source language to Person B’s local language.

Person B: Person B may be responding or need clarification. Or may have another question.

Interpreter: Then, Interprets Person B’s comments /queries back to Person A.

Finally, the whole process starts again.

Medical Interpreter Skills:

A good interpreter is not just a skilled linguist. Of course, excellent Interpersonal skills are equally obligatory. 

The mentioned skills are essential to getting the job done.

1. Phone Etiquette:

Phone calls are a large part of the medical communication process. So, Medical interpreters must have excellent telephone etiquette to do their jobs.

Phone Etiquette Is Required Skill For Medical Interpreter

2. Empathy:

To be a successful interpreter, empathy for patients is also essential. Patients can be in a vulnerable situation. So, patience in disturbing moments is vital.

3. Work Under Pressure:

You must able to make quick interpretations under pressure to convey the required information. Excellent command of problem-solving skills is an equally important trait. 

4. Must Aware Of:

In brief, a Medical Interpreter must be aware of linguistic, cultural, and social influences. Also, he should know laws and policies which affect healthcare.

5. And Other Skills They Required:

– Be willing to learn forever.

– Also, be in total control of their emotions.

– Should have an eye for creativity. And openness to new ideas.

– Own multitasking skills to enable work in stressful situations.

– Then; Must be trustworthy, honest, and punctual.

– Finally; Be able to work under moderate supervision.

Moreover, check out another relevant blog post on The top 10 list of Medical Interpreter services in the USA.

Contact Us:

Thus, if you are looking for interpretation services, TheLanguageDoctors is here for you.

Get in touch with us at 1 (202) 544-2942 for further information on the services we offer. Or contact us online at

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